Philadelphia, PA - The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation announced plans to convert Philadelphia’s Municipal Pier 9 to the Cherry Street Pier, creating a multi-functional public space for creative collaboration and civic involvement. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is investing $683,000 in the undertaking to test a model for re-purposing civic spaces to help urban centers increase economic opportunity and improve inclusion.
The approximately $4 million project will build on Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s successful track-record of energizing public spaces. It aims to develop a hub for skill-building and creativity, while linking Philadelphia’s growing community of business owners, makers and artisans. To this end, it will open opportunities for dialogue, learning, collaboration and engagement focused on community concerns and opportunities.
Cherry Street Pier is going to feature four zones of activity: The Hub, a food and beverage venue at the entrance to the pier; The Garage, a collaborative working space featuring shared offices and studios built out of re-purposed shipping containers; The Platform, an open programmable space for pop-up shopping, art installations and public events; and The Garden, an open-air park and café with views of the Delaware River.
“To remain relevant, civic assets and public spaces need to be more than gathering spaces; they must create value and provide amenities that engage the community and advance economic opportunity. We hope the pier will help meet these goals, serving as a model for transforming public spaces to support up-and-coming entrepreneurs, makers and artists, while driving excitement and connection with its diverse residents,” said Patrick Morgan, Knight Foundation program director for Philadelphia.
Municipal Pier 9, the 93-year old warehouse owned and operated by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation features over 55,000 square feet of available space that has been empty for decades. This one-of-a-kind, postindustrial site is conveniently situated at Columbus Boulevard next to Race Street Pier, making it easily accessible to visitors that take public transportation, walking, cycling or traveling by car.